Whether you are already an insurance agent or are someday aspiring to become one, you might be wondering what all the job entails and what you can do to become successful and thrive.
If you wish to succeed, here are a few qualities and skills potential customers seek in the best insurance agent. By utilising these skills and inculcating these qualities, you can build an impressive customer base and succeed financially and career-wise as an agent.
However, before getting into the details, let us first explore the basics for people aspiring to become an agent or researching tips and tricks for the same. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the roles and responsibilities of an agent as well as the skills and qualities sought after in one.
Who is an insurance agent?
An agent dealing in insurance represents single or multiple insurance companies in advising and negotiating with potential customers to sell them insurance. Agents are typically categorised in terms of affiliation and representation: exclusive agent and independent agent.
An exclusive agent works for only a single insurance provider and might be a full-time or part-time employee. They typically receive a salary, sales commission, and bonuses for hitting targets.
On the other hand, independent insurance agents are free to work for as many insurance providers as they want. Their primary source of income is usually only the sales commissions they get. However, if they work for an independent agency dealing with policies from multiple insurers, they might also get salaries and bonuses.
What are the roles and responsibilities of an agent?
Before getting into the qualities, it is essential first to explore the roles and responsibilities of an agent.
- Understand the needs of the customer.
- Help the customer understand the policy terms and details to know what to expect.
- Provide some after-sales customer support
- Generate new business for the company
- Provide sound financial advice when needed
- Have good relationships with existing and potential customers
What are the qualities customers are looking for in an insurance agent?
Beyond the roles and responsibilities an agent is expected to fulfil, certain qualities aid them in fulfilling those roles and responsibilities. Customers usually expect these qualities, and they can help build a good relationship with them and thrive in this industry.
1. Have good communication skills
Good communication skills are imperative; what you say needs to make sense to the customer. The communication needs to be simple, concise, and accurate.
2. Have an in-depth understanding of the policies
Some customers also request an in-depth explanation of the policies, which requires an in-depth understanding of the policies. This is also a much-appreciated quality when recommending policies to potential customers.
3. Is understanding and analytical
Understanding and being analytical about the customer’s needs is vital in recommending the best plan for their needs.
4. Some degree of mathematical ability
Sometimes, some customers wish to get financial advice about budgeting and appropriately getting a policy. Helping the customer here is a highly sought-after trait.
When dealing with people in any capacity, having empathy is extremely important. It can act as the differentiating factor between someone who is just starting out and a successful agent.
Being honest, recommending policies that are actually what the customer requires, and offering accurate quotes is also highly appreciated quality.
What is the best company to work for as an agent?
The answer to this question depends on what your experience is and what stage of life you are in. For example, working as an exclusive agent is preferable if you are just entering the industry, as it can offer the best learning and growth environment. If you are slightly more experienced, you might want to diversify and work independently.
However, if your primary source of income is through insurance, becoming an exclusive agent can offer the stability you and your family might require.
As someone who has been in this industry for almost a decade, I have worked at or with several companies over the years. The company I currently work for and am the most pleased with is Niva Bupa. They offer significant salaries, commissions for sales, and bonuses while fostering a great environment to thrive.
Now that you know the qualities sought after by customers and insurance companies in the form of the roles and responsibilities an agent must fulfill, you should be able to inculcate those qualities and fulfill your duties to the best of your abilities to succeed as an insurance agent.